Gauge-invariant nonlinear electric transport in mesoscopic conductors
Département de Physique Théorique, Université de Genève, 24 Quai
Ernest-Ansermet, CH-1211 Genève, Switzerland
2 Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030, USA
Accepted: 8 July 1996
We use the scattering approach to investigate the nonlinear current-voltage characteristics of mesoscopic conductors. We discuss the leading nonlinearity by taking into account the self-consistent nonequilibrium potential. We emphasize conservation of the overall charge and current and the invariance under a global voltage shift (gauge invariance). As examples, we discuss the rectification coefficient of a quantum point contact and the nonlinear current-voltage characteristic of a resonant level in a double-barrier structure.
PACS: 72.20.Ht – High-field and nonlinear effects / 73.40.Ei – Rectification / 73.40.Gk – Tunneling
© EDP Sciences, 1996